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since 1905

Board of Trustees

We are blessed to be led by Spirit-filled and mission-focused board members at Sioux Center Christian School.  

The Sioux Center Christian School Board of Trustees has adopted the mission-directed governance philosophy. 

What are the characteristics of mission-directed governance?  Keep reading to find out!

1. The mission drives everything.

The phrase “education on purpose” describes the Christian school that follows the mission-directed governance model. Agreement by the owner, board, administration, and faculty on the school’s mission brings opportunity for unity, vision, and accountability. Education on purpose brings clearer expectations, understood criteria for accountability, and focused decision making. The school community’s understanding of the school’s purpose brings attention and passion to student learning.

The Christian school must have a clear understanding of its biblical mandate so that school leadership can take responsibility for leading the school toward a clear target. The mission-directed school has a written philosophy and mission that enables the school to clarify and solidify its beliefs, ideals, and intentions. This allows the school community to more effectively identify its foundational positions and consequently preserve and protect these principles. These foundational positions that the school resolves not to change are called nonnegotiables.

2. The school strives to reach an ideal.

Under the mission-directed governance model, a clearly defined purpose of education articulated in the school’s mission statement gives the board, as the unified central authority, the responsibility to initiate change that leads the students to grow in becoming the kind of followers of Jesus called for in Scripture.

The Christian school must be committed to pursuing its ideal. School improvement is more than solving current problems and inconveniences. The mission-directed governance model emphasizes that the ideal is still out there and is a target toward which the school continues to strive. The mission-directed model begins with the assumption that the school model will not be perfect even if immediate problems can be solved.

Problems must be addressed, but if the board merely concentrates on solving problems, everyone knows those problems will soon be replaced by other problems. The mission-directed model seeks not merely to deal with immediate problems; it seeks to prevent problems from appearing by working to reach the goal of what the school ought to become. When the board focuses on making the ideal real and effective, many problems can be avoided.

Under the mission-directed governance model, the board believes that the school is living in the “silver” age. The board will work hard toward the ideal so that future generations may build upon what is done today. Perhaps the “gold” and even the “platinum” ages of the school are still to come. This mindset allows the school to respect and celebrate what others have believed and done in the past without seeking to go back to former times. The school board sees itself in the process of more firmly establishing and integrating the essential beliefs while reforming and transforming the ministry to address present circumstances and future possibilities.

3. The whole organization is aligned with the mission.

Mission-directed governance establishes a structure that encourages the board to ensure that every feature and program of the organization aligns with and positively reflects the mission. Governance should be more than providing a way to have an orderly board meeting with a predictable decision-making process. The board’s role must be more than managing finances, fundraising, building and upgrading facilities, and establishing the organizational image. Under the mission-directed governance model, the board is given a mandate to bring every aspect of the school into alignment with the mission. This includes board guardianship of student learning and curriculum, extracurricular activities, auxiliary organizations, and decisions regarding admissions, employment, student discipline—all critical aspects of the school. The board guides these areas by mission-linked policy rather than by direct involvement.

4. The board is linked to the community.

The mission-directed model sees the ties to the owner as a great characteristic. The purpose of the board is to lead the school community in achieving its philosophical and mission mandate. At the same time, it outlines specific limits to the owner’s involvement and identifies the means by which the owner will continue to hold the board accountable for providing leadership.

The mission-directed governance model recommends that the board not be directly involved in daily decision making; the board does not need to know everything that is happening at the school. The board will communicate regularly and listen to the constituency, but with the purpose of discovering what is needed to help form the vision and long-range goals and come closer to the ideal—not to resolve personal complaints. The board members act as trustees; they serve the entire school community and do not serve as representatives of special-interest groups.

5. The school makes decisions as a unified comunity, not just as a collection of individuals.

The philosophy and mission are what bind the community together. The school community, the owner, and the school administrators recognize that the school belongs to Jesus Christ and that they are mere stewards. The community achieves homogeneity by adherence to and promotion of the ideals communicated by the mission and philosophy rather than by geographic proximity, family ancestry, history, ethnicity, denominational affiliation, or other circumstantial criteria. This approach offers a secure and nondiscriminatory way for a new family to become part of the decision-making community.

The owner, the school board, the administration, the faculty, and the constituency will work together to promote and expand the ideals for which the school stands. The roles of each element are defined with delegated powers and specified limitations.

6. The board of trustees establishes an organized, efficient process of operation covering decision making, roles, authority, means of measurement, and accountability.

Under the mission-directed governance model, the board determines goals and priorities, gives oversight, and holds others accountable for achieving the goals. The board will govern by written policies that describe what actions must be taken to carry out the board-established directions. The board hires and gives authority to the head of school as the chief executive officer to ensure that all aspects of the school comply with the board policies and directives. The roles of authority and action between board and CEO are clearly distinguished and separated.

By taking a proactive philosophical position, the mission-directed governance model seeks to unite all aspects of the school to its educational philosophy. The board takes on the responsibility of providing this leadership by

• establishing policies that define the purposes and content of curricular and extracurricular programs;

• establishing policies to give direction for school operations so that the school will be a living example of a Christian school;

• giving the school head the authority, direction, and tools to establish practices relating to admissions, student life, discipline, employee hiring and benefits, employee evaluation, and all other aspects of the school; and

• ensuring that the school head is accountable for accomplishing the board directions by requiring the school head to submit presentations or reports, by conducting surveys, and by consulting outside evaluators who can provide financial reviews and audits and confirmations in other areas.

The mission-directed board governs and makes decisions as a unit. This places the board in a strong leadership position to guide and control all aspects of the school through the school head. The board defines the target—the ideal model for the school—and determines the direction, priority, and pace of the means to reach that target.

2020-2021 Sioux Center Christian School Board of Trustees


Board of Trustees

 Joe Bakker

Renae Calkhoven

 Michael De Boer

Chad Feenstra

Kelly Franken

 Arlene Heynen

Greg Van Dyke

Dennis Vander Plaats

Lori Walstra